The urgency to upskill budding entrepreneurs, businesses and youth to accommodate the wave of change brought about by Industry 4.0 is continuously accelerating in Africa. With innovation comes the need for economies to adapt and embrace the disruption. Through programmes such as SqwidNet’s IoT SA University Challenge, this is already happening.
At the core of any thriving society lies the power, will and ambition to innovate and propel the economy forward. Pulling together the brightest minds in technology and business is what SqwidNet, along with Sigfox, aim to achieve with their pioneering initiative: Internet of Things (IoT) SA University Challenge.
“We developed this initiative in partnership with Sigfox as we believe that young people have a very different view of the world,” says Chetan Goshalia, SqwidNet’s Chief Sales and Marketing Officer. “They approach challenges differently and because they have grown up with technology at their fingertips, they find alternative ways of applying it.”
The aim of the challenge is to give university students the opportunity to think of creative ways to utilise IoT in such a way that tackles societal issues. So far, the ideas pitched for the challenge have done just that. “We saw incredibly creative solutions emerge during the first round of the challenge,” says Chetan. “These included solutions for animal tracking, reducing the number of cash-in-transit heists, and the monitoring of climatic conditions such as temperature, humidity, pressure and gasses.” Forming part of the global Sigfox Universities Challenge, the South African rendition of the challenge also allows local students to compete with other innovators and thought leaders in Asia, Europe and North and South America. Winners of the challenge will receive a cash prize of R20 000 as well as the opportunity to pitch their innovative idea to tech experts at Sigfox’s headquarters in France.